By Arnie Leshin
The ride to new district rival Clayton Saturday made for an enjoyable return trip as the Pecos girls and boys swept the doubleheader in their new District 7-2A.
The Panther girls came on first and handed the Yellow Jackets a resounding 76-41 setback to arrive at 17-3 overall and 2-0 in district. Clayton dropped to 11-8 overall 0-2 in district after losing to Texico in last week’s opener.
Then came the Panther boys, and they, too, had no problem disposing of Clayton, 76-41, to also move to 17-3 overall and 2-0 in district.
Ron Drake’s girls prepared for the trip to Texico (17-3) on Feb. 9 by not wasting any time. After leading 17-12 after one quarter, Pecos went up 40-19 after soaring in the second and third quarters and upped it to 57-31 in the final eight minutes.
“Everybody contributed,” Drake said. “Seniors Cassie (Muller) and Brittany (Martinez) each scored 19 points, sophomore Alexis Gonzales had 10, senior Faith Flores took down 10 rebounds, and senior Trinity Herrera had a big game with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.”
The Pecos boys continued to roll along in quest of a third-straight state championship, something they’ve also accomplished in cross country and track and field. This was their fifth win in a row and they will also be part of the Feb. 9 doubleheader at Texico, whose then unbeaten boys lost to the Panthers by 18 points in last year’s state final.
They dropped Clayton to 8-13 overall and 0-2 in district. It was a massive 58-20 advantage at the half, and junior Xavier Padilla showed the way with a career high of 42 points, 27 coming in the first quarter.
But he fell short of the school record of 56 points scored by current junior Anthony Armijo’s uncle.
Senior Omar Dominquez added 12 and junior Jacob Sandoval tossed in 10 as head coach Ira Harge, Jr. emptied his bench. His team scored 29 in the first quarter and 29 in the second. Dominquez is one of only two seniors on the roster.
In other 7-2A games, Texico swept Santa Rosa, the boys coming out on top in a tight contest, 55-49, and the girls winning handily at 53-30.
In 2-3A girl’s play at St. Michael’s, first place, top–ranked Robertson carted off a 59-46 triumph to become 20-1 overall and 3-0 in district. The Lady Horsemen (9-11, 1-2) trailed 17-9 after one quarter, but then fell victim to the taller Cardinals.
“They just have too much size,” said St. Michael’s head coach Martin Esquibel, “and we couldn’t keep them off the boards.”
It was 34-17 Robertson at halftime, and the Lady Horsemen hung around most of the way, but being outsized didn’t help them.
At Los Alamos, the girls made 24 steals and forced 34 turnovers in pounding Taos, 53-27, in District 2-4A. It put the Hilltoppers at 3-0 in district and in a first-place tie with Pojoaque Valley. Overall, they are 9-12 as Becca Green had the game-high 17 points.
At Moriarty in 2-4A, the Elkettes (17-3) had things their way by turning in a 56-33 win. They led 13-6 before going on a 18-6 run in the second quarter. It was 29-12 at the half and 43-23 after three quarters. Tuesday night, they play at Los Alamos. Ashten Martinez of Pojoaque scored 14 points.
At Penasco, the Panther girls won handily over Mesa Vista, 60-17, and Escalante slipped past visiting Mora, 48-47.
In other boy’s play, Desert Academy triumphed on the road, 67-49, over Albuquerque Evangel Christian. Then there was West Las Vegas rolling over visiting Santa Fe Prep, 79-49, Mora defeating Escalante, 64-60, and Mesa Vista topping Penasco, 69-48.